SaveApp: A Budgeting Solution

Andre’ D. Williams
5 min readFeb 1, 2021

Our Goal

To create a web-based mobile application that makes budgeting efficient and simple.


  • User Surveys
  • User Interviews
  • Affinity Mapping
  • Persona & Journey Mapping
  • Feature Prioritization
  • Design Studio
  • Usability Testing (2 rounds) using Figma


“Users lack of budgeting creates a lack of financial awareness and control”


  • People do not have a systematic way of budgeting.
  • People can’t keep track of their short-term and long-term expenses.
  • People don’t have a clear idea of what their overall financial responsibilities are.

Initial Problem Statement

“How might we create a comprehensive tool that provides al important aspects to money management enabling people to meet their financial goals and needs efficiently?”

User Survey to User Interviews

To test our hypothesis, we needed to recruit every day people to see how they manage their money. We needed insight into their methods, goals and frustrations.

  • We screened for to qualified users using a screener survey
  • We interviewed 5 working people, between the ages of 29 & 36
  • We carefully crafted 10 generative questions, and then … we listened.Affinity Mapping Method (Research Synthesis)

Affinity Mapping (Research Synthesis)

From the user interview we collected key findings from each participant. We then grouped those findings based on reoccurring themes, we could visualize & prioritize the users wants and needs.

Affinity Map

Insights from Affinity Mapping

  1. Users want to see that their budgeting is paying off.
  2. Users need actionable advice to reach their goals.
  3. Users want to see all their financial information in one place.
  4. Users don’t want to spend all day creating a budget.
  5. Users need a tool that can be customized to my needs.

Persona & Journey Map

To summarize our research and create a unilateral understanding of our target audience, we developed a persona. This enabled us to focus our efforts in solving problems based on the user. Creating a persona also builds user empathy.

Journey Mapping helped us to visualize “Phinneas” process of budgeting, detailing emotional experiences, highlights & pain points, and opportunities for improvements.

Journey Mapping of the Budgeting Process

Revised Problem Statement

After completing the research, we found that we had validated our initial hypothesis of creating a tool that helps users meet their financial goals efficiently. But we can still revise our problem statement to reflect the additional insights we found through our research process.

We found that users also needed actionable advice to meeting their goals. By actionable advice, we mean recommendations and options, based on their current financial status, to meet short and long term goals.

In the case of Phinneas, he wants to purchase a new apartment. Actionable advice would greatly help him in reaching his goal. Providing him with recommendations and multiple paths to his goal, Phinneas feels in control of his finances.

“How might we provide users with a comprehensive budgeting tool, that saves users time and provides actionable advice?”

Feature Prioritization

With limited time/recourses we used feature prioritization matrix to determine which features were essential and we used a MoSCoW Map to determine the order of which we should would work on these features.

The Feature Prioritization Matrix
The MoSCow Map

Design Studio

We conducted two rounds of sketching a proposed interface, being mindful of the persona and feature prioritization. Our goal was to create an inclusive design in which all ideas were taken into consideration.

Mid-Fidelity Prototype & Usability Testing

Based on the final design from our Design Studio, we created a basic prototype, absent of color and branding, to test feature placements and functionality.

Test Participants were given a scenario and 3 task to complete, in order to test usability. Below are the results from Round 1.

Users were confused about the “We Suggest” button and need more text and guidance.

Users also wanted elements of significant priority to be more pronounced, specifically savings goals.

Hi-Fidelity Prototype & Usability Testing

Hi-Fidelity Prototype Mockup

We found a 7.2% decrease in success rate and 14.1 second improvement of time, from Round 1.

Again, users were still confused as to the functionality of the “We Suggest” button. Because there is no clear signifier to use the feature, users were either confused whether the finished the task or just gave up.

Final Findings & Recommendations

  • We suggest increasing the size of the “We Suggest” call to action buttons. We found that users could not locate this key feature. Also, we recommend adding a signifier to using the “We Suggest” button .
  • We need to adjust size in accordance to the priority of the information. For instance, in the monthly saving tracker page, user’s goals needs to be emphasized in size while the categories should be reduced.
  • We need to rethink the taxonomy of certain phrases to improve clarity. For example users did not understand the “We Suggest” action button.
  • We need to add a signifier for the additional feature on the page which explains how we come up with suggestions.
  • We recommend another round of usability testing